AuctionPlus CEO Angus Street takes new road to head NZ Merino

Sheep Central, May 17, 2023

AuctionsPlus CEO Angus Street.

AUCTIONSPLUS chief executive officer Angus Street has resigned from the online agricultural marketing business to lead The New Zealand Merino Company.

In a return to his family roots in the wool industry while maintaining an innovation and technology focus, Mr Street has made the decision to leave AuctionsPlus effective 28 July 2023 and is relocating to Christchurch where he will take up the NZM CEO role in early August.

In the interim, NZM chief operating officer, Peter Floris, will continue as acting CEO. AuctionsPlus has started its search for a new CEO. In the interim, AuctionsPlus said Mr Street will work with the leadership team to ensure a smooth transition for the business and all stakeholders.

Mr Street has served as CEO of AuctionsPlus for nearly five years after taking over from Anna Speers, and has led significant business growth and secured the platform’s position as the largest digital agriculture marketplace in Australia. He previously held senior roles at Hort Innovation, Meat and Livestock Australia, and Bastion Collective.

NZM board chair Kate Mitchell said Angus’ dual experience in technology and agriculture, coupled with a personal affinity for the farming sector made him the ideal candidate to follow in the footsteps of NZM’s first CEO John Brakenridge.

“John was responsible for transforming the fine wool industry in New Zealand, so his resignation kick-started a global search for a leader with the tenacity and imagination necessary to continue NZM’s story.

“We are delighted to have Angus join the team,” she said.

“He has the experience, skill, and crucially passion required to lead a complex business that needs to constantly evolve to keep our growers’ wool at the forefront of the global market,” said Kate.

NZM said technology is critical to its future of NZM. Last year the company announced a partnership with Silicon Valley technology company, Actual, to help equip NZM’s growers with tools to monitor and improve their environmental, social and animal welfare performance.

NZM said it developed its first long-term contracts between growers and global brands in 1996 and pioneered the world’s first ethical wool certification with an unprecedented global network of more than 130 leading brands. Mr Street will still be involved with marketing significant quantities of Australian Merino wool, bought through an arrangement with Australian shareholder AWN.

Mr Street said NZM is known for making bold moves and the next chapter isn’t going to change that.

“I’m looking forward to getting out amongst the growers and helping them to produce and market the best wool in the world.”

Mr Street grew up in rural New South Wales and has developed a passion for innovation and sustainability in agriculture. He said staying connected to the rural sector is important to him and the opportunity to be part of NZM’s journey is a real honour.

“The company has been challenging the status quo for 27 years and leading the way in sustainable and regenerative farming.

“This is a particularly interesting opportunity for me as my family’s roots can be traced back to the birth of the wool industry in Australia in 1797 with the introduction of Spanish blood Merinos by Captain Henry Waterhouse,” he said.

In a trip down memory lane, Mr Street said his mother Felicity Rutledge (Kater) is the great-granddaughter of Edward Kater who founded Mumblebone Merino Stud, alongside his brother Henry, who later went on to found his own stud, Egalabra. The bloodlines used in both studs can be traced back to the early Spanish blood Merinos brought into Australia by Captain Waterhouse.

“The story goes something like, Captain Henry Waterhouse imported Spanish blood Merinos from the Cape of Good Hope in the late 1790’s and distributed them to a range of farms.

“One of the farm managers who was working on these farms ended up starting up his own Stud called “Gamboola” with the original sheep from the flock imported,” Mr Street said.

“The Katers then repeatedly purchased rams and ewes from Gamboola to establish their studs.

“Mum grew up at Mumblebone, so we would spent school holidays out at my cousin’s place, and my grandfather has always told us stories about the Mumblebone ram sales and getting the Spanish ambassador out to attend the sales, so wool has always been a part of the family,” he said.

“My career has been all food based, so the shift to fibre is really exciting.”

AuctionsPlus chairman, Kelly Freeman, on behalf of the board, thanked Angus for all his efforts and commitment to growing the innovative company and helping create value for agricultural producers across Australia.

“Angus has built a strong team of forward-thinking leaders, delivered significant growth in the business, and helped design a clear roadmap to delivering leading marketing solutions for our customers in the Australian rural sector.”


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